Unpack New Knowledge

In the snack industry, where tastes evolve and new flavors emerge, even the ordinary can become extraordinary. What begins with an all-natural ingredient can become a permissible indulgence. What starts as a grain of insight can build into business-boosting information. And what starts as simple inspiration can become the next great innovation. Experience the extraordinary at SNAXPO, the premier educational event for snack professionals looking to source the recipe for success.

Through its enhanced conference program, which includes more education sessions than ever before, SNAXPO offers forward-thinking snack industry insiders a sneak peek into all that’s emerging in the snack industry. Specialized education tracks tailored toward the business needs and interests of a wide spectrum of professionals allow you to dive deep into a snack-filled world of discovery and explore packaging and sustainability, regulatory affairs, market trends and insights into the Latin American snack market.

Keynote Sessions


“SNAC Tank” featuring Barbara

Tuesday, April 02, 2019 • 12:00 pm–1:30 pm • Osceola Ballroom

See emerging snack brands present their uniquely innovative product in front of a panel of industry expert judges. The winner will take home a cash prize. Also hear from Barbara Corcoran on her self-made success story and the strategies she employs to attain greatness.

“If You Can See It, You Can Be It” by Chef Jeff

Monday, April 01, 2019 • 8:00 am–9:45 am • Osceola Ballroom

From humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles as an imprisoned drug dealer to an award-winning celebrity chef, Chef Jeff Henderson has completely turned his life around, and today serves as a popular and powerful voice for self-transformation. The New York Times bestselling author inspires and motivates with his session that unveils lessons to succeed—both in your personal and professional life—in changing times in today’s society and the overall food industry.


Speakers by Track


Packaging and Sustainability


Packaging for a Sustainable Future: A View from PepsiCo

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Andrew Aulisi

Senior Director, Global Environmental Policy
Public Policy & Government Affairs

Andrew Aulisi is Senior Director for Global Environmental Policy in PepsiCo’s Public Policy & Government Affairs group. He leads the development of PepsiCo’s global corporate policies on key environmental issues.

Andrew has over 20 years of experience working in the intersection between business and sustainability. Most recently he served as Director of Sustainability at Credit Suisse, focusing on the integration of environmental and social issues into investment banking and asset management. Andrew spent a decade in the non-profit sector and led the markets research program at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. He started his professional work as an underwriter in the environmental liability division of AIG, where he provided clients with environmental risk management products.

Andrew has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and a bachelor’s degree in Biology.


Monday, April 1, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Dr. Kay Cooksey, Ph.D.

Professor and Cryovac Endowed Chair
Clemson University
Packaging Science Program
Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences

Dr. Kay Cooksey is a Professor and is the Cryovac Endowed Chair in the Packaging Science Program at Clemson University. She joined the faculty at Clemson University in October 1998 after working at University of Wisconsin-Stout for 5 ½ years. Her B.S. degree is in Food Science from Purdue University, M.S. in Industrial Mechanical Technology with emphasis in Packaging, Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from University of Illinois. She was a Postdoctoral Associate at Purdue University and has interned at Dupont Packaging and Industrial Polymers Division. Her research focuses on food and packaging interactions and includes active and intelligent packaging (specifically antimicrobial and biosensors), shelf life, bio-based polymers and sustainable packaging.


Regulatory Affairs

What the Snack Industry Needs to Know to Comply with the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Final Rule 

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Martin Hahn

Hogen Lovells and SNAC Legal Counsel

Using his background in food technology and his comprehensive understanding of the laws governing the food industry, Martin Hahn helps clients navigate through the countless regulatory and business issues impacting the industry from farm to table.

He recognizes the demands clients face and finds innovative and creative solutions, particularly when responding to observations raised by regulators during inspections. Whether the issue involves obtaining the authorization of a new food or dietary ingredient, complying with manufacturing requirements, labeling or advertising, product recalls, or enforcement, Martin serves as an effective advisor and advocate.

Martin has handled almost every issue impacting the food industry. He has a comprehensive understanding of the laws affecting the labeling and advertising of foods, dietary supplements, infant formulas, medical foods, and foods for special dietary use. He helps anticipate new trends and develops the data needed to distinguish a client’s products from others on the market. Martin uses his understanding of science and technology in the food industry to provide assistance in obtaining regulatory authorizations to market new food ingredients, food packaging materials, and dietary ingredients. He assists in responding to proposed regulations and draft guidance to keep clients informed on the latest trends in class action law suits to help anticipate new regulatory initiatives


What to Expect from FDA on Future Sodium Reduction Initiatives and Nutrition Claims

Monday, April 2, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Beth Johnson

MS, RD, Principal & CEO
Food Directions

Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson, MS, RD, founded Food Directions LLC in February 2010. Johnson’s unique experience and skill set helps clients gain valuable insight into the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Capitol Hill. Johnson also has strong relationships with thought leaders at NGOs, food associations, and consumer groups, which help Food Directions gain a diverse perspective on food issues.

Prior to starting Food Directions LLC, Johnson served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association where she oversaw government affairs, public policy and communications for the organization. In 2008, Johnson was named Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA where she lead and oversaw the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). In addition to her service as Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety, Johnson was deputy chief of staff and senior advisor for the Secretary of Agriculture at USDA, where she focused on agricultural trade, animal health, food safety and nutrition.


Proposition 65 and Overview of SNAC Activities/Member Opportunities

Monday, April 1, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Mark Nelson

Principal, MFN FoodReg and SNAC Technical Consultant

Mark Nelson has extensive experience in international food and ingredient standards, product development and safety, and addressing regulatory issues both domestically and internationally. He was Director of Regulatory Affairs for Nestlé USA and Canada until his retirement in 2016. Prior to Nestlé he managed the scientific and regulatory portfolio at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, covering food safety, security of the food supply, health and nutrition, regulatory standards, and food packaging.

In a variety of regulatory, quality and/or nutrition positions at Givaudan Flavors, Dairy Farmers of America, Pepsi-Cola and the Kellogg Company, he positively influenced food and packaging regulations in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Additionally, Nelson’s work was key in the on-time launch of several products that faced regulatory hurdles and advertising restrictions.

Nelson has served as the Chair of the IFT Food Laws and Regulation Division (2005-2006), and was an industry representative on FDA’s Food Advisory Committee (2003-2007). Mark holds a B.S. degree in mathematics form the University of Michigan, earned his Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.



Market Trends and Insights

Global Snack Industry Trends 

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.


Jared Koerten

Senior Analyst
Euromonitor International

Jared Koerten is a Senior Analyst at Euromonitor International, the world leader in strategy research for consumer markets. In his current role, Jared provides insight and analysis into consumer trends, market performance and strategic direction across several consumer industries. In addition to his focus on snack foods, Jared has a breadth of experience analyzing consumer packaged goods markets and the broader US retail market landscape. Jared is a key contributor to Passport – Euromonitor’s global syndicated research database. His content is also regularly featured on Euromonitor’s highly-read market research blog.

Jared is a recognized expert in US market trends and has been a featured speaker at major industry conferences and events. He is also quoted frequently in the press by publications like Bloomberg, Businessweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Dallas Morning News. Jared holds a master’s degree in International Relations from The University of Chicago.

Navigating Ecommerce and the Snack Industry

Monday April 1, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Sam Gagliardi

Head of E-Commerce (SVP)

Sam Gagliardi has more than 19 years of cross-functional sales, marketing and digital leadership experience with top FMCG manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, Colgate and RB. He is an expert in e-commerce strategy, digital marketing, search engine optimization, media management, shopper marketing and marketing management.


Snacking Evolution in the next Five Years

Tuesday, April 2, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Darren Seifer

Executive Director
Industry Analyst
NPD Group

As the food & beverage industry analyst for The NPD Group, a leading market research company, Darren provides insights based on NPD’s food-related research to organizations and companies across the country. Prior to joining NPD in March 2007, he was an analyst with Information Resources, Inc (IRI), and spent over seven years examining consumer packaged goods trends, and worked with a variety of industry leaders covering dozens of food and beverage categories. He has authored NPD topical reports on how the economy affects consumers’ in-home meal strategies, profile of the organics consumer, the impact of Baby Boomers and Millennials on America’s eating patterns, the unique consumption behaviors of Hispanics in the U.S., and has been a contributing writer for trade publications.

Darren is a frequent speaker at industry events such as the Institutes of Medicine and Biome Research, National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), Obesity Society, Shopper Marketing Expo, United Fresh, and is a faculty member of the Path to Purchase Institute. He holds a bachelor degree from Northwestern University and makes his home in New York City.


Latin American Snacks


Snack Trends Driving Growth in Latin America

Monday, April 1, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Alejandro Prieto

Global Analytics Lead and Latam CBP

Alejandro Prieto leads the analytics sector within the Client Service Group of Nielsen – a global measurement and data analytics company. Prieto is also responsible for Nielsen’s relationship across all  Latin American countries. In this capacity, he is responsible for creating and deploying global analytical solutions across multiple markets to drive increases in revenue, profit, basket penetration, recruitment and in-store execution with focus on three core disciplines: shopper experience, pricing and marketing mix. In addition, Prieto plays a key role in supporting client initiatives, delivering training programs and creating thought leadership in analytics and shopper behavior for Nielson’s different Business Units.

Alejandro has 20 years of market research and analytics experience with both CPGs and agencies. He joined Nielsen just over two years ago from Coca-Cola Canada where he led the strategy and insights function.
Prior to that, he worked at Coca-Cola Mexico specializing in consumer & shopper insights, innovation and data management.



Carlos Ordonez

Client Business Partner 

Carlos Ordonez leads the Coca-Cola and Subsidiaries Business Unit in Mexico, and he is responsible for the analytics and consulting delivered to the client and for commercial and client service satisfaction targets. Ordonez has 20 years of experience in marketing and commercial strategy, innovation, consumer insights and consulting for leading FMCG and pharma brands. He has experience working for companies such as Coca-Cola Femsa, Unilever, and Merck & Co and he has international relations designing regional strategies throughout Latam and Central America. Just over 3 years ago, Ordonez joined Nielsen from Bayer, Mexico where he managed its core Brands.


PANEL: CEO Perspectives on Growth Opportunities for Latin American Snack Companies

Monday April 1, 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.


José Luis Prado

Chairman & CEO
Evans Foods

José Luis Prado is a top ranked executive in the food industry with extensive U.S. and International experience. He served at PepsiCo for 30 years where he built a distinguished career in a broad array of multi-functional roles spanning multiple countries in Latin America and Europe. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Evans Food Group, LLC. – the Global leader of Pork Rinds Snacks and Foods. José Luis has been actively involved in driving rapid organic growth and the M&A activity in partnership with the PE firm Wind Point Partners.

José Luis is Retired President of Quaker Oats North America, PepsiCo, headquartered in Chicago. Previously he was President of Gamesa, PepsiCo Foods International, the multi-billion leader of cookies and crackers in Latin America. In these roles, José Luis led major enterprise transformations with outstanding results. Previously José Luis served in a variety of countries in General Management and functional leadership positions.

José Luis serves currently in two Boards (Northern Trust, where he served as the Chair of the Risk Committee and Brinker International) and is very active leader in the Chicago Community.


Mónica Contreras

General Manager, Andean Region
PepsiCo Foods

Monica Contreras has been the president of PepsiCo Foods for the Andean Region since 2013. Her professional career at PepsiCo started in 2000 in marketing, sales, and trade marketing, and she was later responsible for the Colombia operation (2009-2011), and served as the general manager of Colombia (2011–2013). Contreras has a strong commitment to women’s inclusion in the labor force and has worked to increase the number of women working in the company. Thirty-seven percent of the employees at PepsiCo Colombia are women and hold more than 40 percent of the leadership roles. Contreras is an economist from the Universidad Externado de Colombia with an MBA from the Universidad de los Andes. She is a member of PepsiCo’s Female Executive Council of Latin America. In 2009, Contreras was part of the Leader’s Managers Program “What If Innovation Partners” in London, and she has participated in Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management’s CEOs Management Program and the Transformative Business Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

Guillermo Aponte

CEO, Food and Snacks Division 
Arca Continental 

Guillermo Aponte currently serves as CEO of the Food and Snacks Division of Arca Continental, which distributes, and sells non-alcoholic beverages under The Coca-Cola Company brand, as well as snacks under the brands of Bokados in Mexico, Inalecsa in Ecuador, and Wise and Deep River in the U.S.  Arca Continental is the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America and the third-largest in the world. Previously, Mr. Aponte served as Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Philippines, Mexico and Colombia, and has over 25 years of experience with Coca-Cola in Asia and Latin America.


Health and Wellness Regulatory Trends Impacting LATAM Snack Companies

Monday, April 2, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Lorena Cerdán Torres


Lorena Cerdán Torres has experience in corporate affairs and communications, and has had a key role in the conformation of institutional alliances, social responsibility and public policy agendas both in public and private sectors in Mexico and Europe.

Since 2010, she has successfully led the Mexican Council of Consumer Packaged Goods (ConMéxico).

Torres earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration at Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico), and her master’s degree in public and political communications at Universidad Complutense (Spain).

WinS (Women in Snacks)

Learn more about the launch of this SNAC International program aimed at fostering leadership development for women snack industry executives. Learn more about the launch of the WinS network here.


Angie Bastian

Sunday, March 31 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Co Founder 

“Angie Bastian, entrepreneur, co-founder and namesake of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, took a kernel of an idea and popped it into one of the fastest growing brands of natural popcorn. She and husband Dan founded their snack company in their Mankato, MN garage in 2001 as a means of creating a college fund for their children. Their gluten free, non-GMO, whole grain popcorn is proudly sold in natural food, grocery, club and mass retail outlets nationwide with a product presence in Canada, South Korea, Peru, Japan, the Caribbean and Mexico. The company is constantly innovating and is one of the fastest growing and most successful popcorn brands in the market today. Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is loved by fans as an empowered, spirited brand that represents authentic, real food that delivers on the attributes of clean, transparent labeling and great taste experience.

The company has twice won Star Tribune’s Top workplace honors. Angie’s Boomchickapop is the 2015 ACG BOLD Award for corporate growth. She and Dan share Connect Business Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year. Girl Scouts honored her as a Pioneering Trailblazer and she is a 2015 Inductee to the Minnesota Women’s Business Owner’s Hall of Fame. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, quoted in Forbes Magazine and appeared on the Martha Stewart Show. Her products have been recognized and awarded by numerous national publications and media. The business attracted significant investment as Dan and Angie built the company and was recently purchased by Conagra Brands.


Laura Maxwell

Sunday, March 31 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Optimization
Pepsico – Frito-Lay North America 

Laura is currently Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Optimization for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. In this role, Laura has responsibility for driving strategy and execution across Frito-Lay’s field and contract manufacturing operations, in areas including quality and food safety; manufacturing; service and distribution; fleet; productivity; and sustainability. Additionally, Laura has responsibility for the commercial agenda in Supply Chain including supply management and innovation commercialization.

Laura has held a variety of roles over the course of her 29-year career with PepsiCo. She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and joined the company as an operations resource where she spent 17 years in field manufacturing roles prior to coming to Frito-Lay headquarters. Laura’s previous roles include Director of Manufacturing, Vice President of Marketing Services, Vice President of Supply Chain Growth and Commercialization, and Senior Vice President of Business Transformation.  Laura also serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and frequently speaks with collegiate and high school-level students, helping them find ways to overcome perceived barriers to reaching their career goals. Laura and her husband, Marty, have two daughters, Maddy (22) and Molly (19).